HBR: 1 in 5 employees is highly engaged and at risk of burnout

Having highly engaged employees in your business is a positive thing, right? Actually – it’s not always that simple.

Although it’s true that there are positives to high engagement levels – greater productivity, quality of work and employee retention – there are still things you need to look out for as a leader. Most working professionals that are highly engaged in working towards a goal can experience something less than positive – high levels of stress. And this is where things can get complicated.

A recent study found that 1 in 5 employees reported both high engagement and high burnout, and in the long-term this means that businesses may be at risk of losing some of their most talented and hard-working employees – not for a lack of engagement, but because they’re stressed and frustrated.

So, what can you do to ensure your business avoids this problem?

Many HR departments offer wellness programmes to combat stress and frustration at work – and while these can be helpful, a much more important focus point should be the work itself. For your business, HR should work with leaders to monitor the levels of demand they’re placing on their employees, ensuring high demand equals high levels of support, acknowledgement and opportunities to recover.

For more information on this, read the full article featured in HBR: ‘1 in 5 Employees is Highly Engaged and at risk of Burnout’.


Seppalla “1 in 5 Employees is Highly Engaged and at risk of Burnout”. HBR (02/02/2018)